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Heaven's Frequency (Live) by Meredith Heaven's Frequency (Live) by Meredith
What You Need to Know
Land of The Living by Jason Land of The Living by Jason
What You Need to Know
Ever since I first heard "Blessed Be" by
Seasons by Natalie Seasons by Natalie
What You Need to Know
While remaining true to her contemporary Christian roots,...

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Listen with Faith and Wonder | Posted March-17-2024
What You Need to Know

Following a five-year wait after her album Faith and Wonder, hearing new music from contemporary artist Meredith Andrews is exciting. These new live worship songs showcase Meredith's gifts as a songwriter and her shimmering, emotion-laden voice. Meredith has consistently impressed me with her mature faith and sincere desire for God's presence and to see His kingdom on earth, which is found in every song. Each track on her latest release, Heaven’s Frequency, proclaims her dependence on God, which stirs my heart, mind, and soul to bow before Jesus with the reminder, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”



What it Sounds Like

From the beginning, Meredith has wanted to make music that matters beyond entertainment and popular worship music's parameters. She strives to be a listener first, then to create music that reflects the Gospel and communicates honest experiences freshly and artfully. Meredith takes the listener in with her confessional and prayerful vocal style. Give these songs a few deep listens, and you'll love them all. I hang on to every word; the stirring vocals, prayerful lyrics, and musical arrangements are breathtaking. The song “Always Do” has quickly become a prayerful anthem in my daily devotional time with the worshipful lyrics, “You’ll come through, You always do.”



Spiritual Highlights

The songs “The Lamb, The Lion, The King” and “No Weapon” take me to the throne room in heaven. I love how prayers and songs of praise are a communal experience that we can all share. I think the Lord wants us to long for heaven. When the Holy Spirit has indwelled us, we have a personal relationship with the comforter and a peace that surpasses understanding, knowing that this fallen world isn't all we live for. “Always Do,” “Heaven’s Frequency,” and “What He’s Done” also stir worshipful responses to our savior, reflecting the blessed hope of someone who understands the Good News of grace.

 

Best Song

“Let Everything” is best described as an upbeat, empowering anthem to sing over ourselves and against fear, worry, and anxiety. Meredith sets the tone with this song with a striking message that stays with you throughout the day. This song is an excellent companion to sing over your life. The moving, worshipful lyrics of “Always Do” take me on an emotional journey that causes me to excitedly sing along with the stirring lyrics every time I hear the song. “No Weapon” is another standout worship ballad. My favorite is “The Lamb, The Lion, The King.” I’m deeply moved by the lyrics, “You are, and You always will be/The Savior of the world who gave everything for me/The One all of Heaven calls worthy/The Lamb, the Lion, the King.” With everything we’ve gone through these past few years, this song provides a glimpse of the attributes of God that He wants all of us to experience as His children.

 

For Fans Of

Steffany GretzingerLauren DaigleBethel MusicKristene DiMarcoKim Walker-Smith

 

Final Word

Heaven’s Frequency is a spine-tingling female-led worship album, and these songs are entirely anointed, Spirit-led, and emotionally captivating. Meredith sings with a fantastic passion, with unashamed praise and gratitude to our savior, who is very inspiring and emotionally moving. Her songs are poignant and powerful, with earnest, worshipful lyrics. This album is filled with overwhelming biblical truth; these songs are all companions in my prayer and worship time. I'm especially moved by the prayerful songs “Always Do,” “The Lamb, The Lion, The King,” and “No Weapon.” These songs proclaim my heart's cry to worship Jesus. You’ll want to join in with Meredith and praise the Lord.

 



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Gourmet lyrical phrasing filled with truth | Posted November-02-2023
What You Need to Know

Ever since I first heard "Blessed Be" by Jason Gray from his album All the Lovely Losers, I was hooked by the emotional and biblical messages of his songs. In fact, that song was the 8th song I featured for my "behind the song" devotional article series which started back in March 2008.



I'm always excited to hear new music from Jason. In 2020, Jason released his full album, Order, Disorder, Reorder, mirroring the themes of the pandemic in many ways. Jason tells a story of the process of transformation in three volumes. It's order when life goes your way. It's disorder when life gets out of your control. It's reorder when you persevere through hardship becoming wiser, stronger, and more humble. Order EP features "I'm Gonna Let it Go" and "Order Disorder Reorder." Disorder EP features “Remind Me You’re Here.” Reorder EP features “Glory Days” and includes my personal anthem, “Right on Time.”

 

Jason is an anointed songwriter and singer, and he has a profound way of piercing my soul with his poignant words, tender singing, and inspirational truths. He has returned with Land of the Living. The album was preceded by the hit standout songs, “Place for Me,” “Good Man,” “Be Kind,” and “When I Say Yes.” “Place for Me” is a beautifully crafted, driving pop song lifted by Jason’s vocals and a chorus of voices singing about the universal human need for belonging.


 

What it Sounds Like

Similar to his previous albums, the central theme of this release is discovering our identity in Christ, being truthful and open with ourselves and others, and allowing God's grace to illuminate our lives by showcasing how His strength is flawless in our vulnerabilities. 

 

Jason is a gifted storyteller, and like in his previous offerings, the highlights are found in his vulnerable prayer-songs, including lead single, “Place for Me.” It is a powerful song which praises the loving and merciful attributes of our Savior. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, and that biblical truth is perfectly portrayed throughout this album.

 

“Good Man” reminds me to make Jesus the Lord of my life and for every activity and thought in my life to point to His complete Lordship. “Land of the Living” ties all of the other songs together, anchored down by the hopeful refrain.


 

Spiritual Highlights

“Place for Me” is a great reminder that our circumstances don't define our joy. Our position in Christ and His unending faithfulness is worthy of all our gratitude and adoration. This song gives me more conviction to not feel worthless or afraid. With many areas in our lives, we also spend a lot of time worrying. We need to let that go and allow the Lord to be our Redeemer. We live in a fallen and sinful world. “Place for Me” is a gorgeous offering of praise to the only One who has power to save. It is a very sing-able song, and I love singing the joyful lyrics, If my failures preach the gospel, more than my success/Then it’s a good thing I’ve got more than enough/Hallelujah there's a place for me /In the company of sinners saved by grace/Here among the broken on their knees/Hallelujah/Thank You Jesus, there’s a place for me.”

 

Once you adopt the words of this song into your heart, you will remember the truth that Jesus has always been, He is today, and He always will be the One who makes a way for us, even when it seems impossible. That's something to remember and rest upon. In any situation, God will make a way for His children. As we look at the fallen world around us, we all need to lift our eyes up to God and put all our faith and hope in Him. It's in our weakness that God is made strong. It's only through God's grace that we can overcome our emotional conflicts of feeling invisible and conspicuous at the same time.


 

Best Song on the Record

A soft melody frames the transparent, vulnerable, and moving track, “Worth Staying.” God promises us in His Word that His mercies are new every morning. Whatever situation you are facing you can know that God is with you, always. “Worth Staying” is a powerful song which praises the loving and merciful attributes of our Savior as he achingly sings his story. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, and that biblical truth is perfectly portrayed throughout this album.

 

Right from the opening notes, you’ll be mesmerized by the melody and message of “Jesus Loves You (And I’m Trying).” He sings about God’s faithfulness with his unique brand of gourmet lyrical phrasing filled with the truth of the Gospel for those “with ears to hear.”


 

For Fans Of

NEEDTOBREATHE, Switchfoot, MercyMe, for KING & COUNTRY, Tenth Avenue North

 

Final Word

If you like singer-songwriters who wear their hearts on their sleeves and sing about the truth of what it means to walk with God and work out their salvation with fear and trembling, then don't miss out on one of Christian music's most treasured artists. Jason has once again invited listeners into his story of faith. Jason is one of my favorite writers in all of Christian music because his songs are so emotional, vulnerable, and authentic.

 

Land of the Living is an emotional listening experience. All twelve songs are catchy, personal, and biblically focused. If you liked A Way to See in the Dark, then you absolutely must have this album. With each album, I hear maturation in the subject matter with lyrical depth and musical layers that have made Jason among my favorite male artists, along with Matthew West, Brandon Heath, and Dan Bremnes.

 

If you like a singer-songwriter who lays their heart on their sleeve and sings about the truth of what it means to walk with God and work out their salvation with fear and trembling, then don’t miss out on one of Christian music’s most treasured artists. I get welled up singing along with several of the emotion-laden songs, especially “Jesus Loves You (And I’m Trying),” “Hold on to Hope,” “Worth Staying,” “Good Man” and “Place for Me.” If you are looking for the top male singer-songwriter album of the year, look no further than this stellar offering.


 



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Love and Positivity | Posted October-07-2023
What You Need to Know

While remaining true to her contemporary Christian roots, Natalie Grant has released Seasons, a 10-song collection that features some of her favorite cover songs. This is her 11th studio project. From iconic CCM standards, like Russ Taff’s “We Will Stand” and Andrae Crouch’s “My Tribute,” to personal offerings like Bob Dylan's classic “To Make You Feel My Love,” which features Grant’s mother and daughters, the brand-new collection finds the songstress covering selections that have played a significant role in every season of her life. Additionally, Seasons boasts duets with CeCe Winans, Mary Mary, and Dolly Parton.

 

What it Sounds Like

The album is designed to be listened to in track order as you'll go on the journey with Natalie and her friends from “In Christ Alone” to “Make You Feel My Love.” In this era of singles and streaming, this is one of those throw-back style albums, both in musical and vocal style and in how Natalie and her friends invite you into their walk with Jesus with each note of each song. There are catchy musical arrangements which highlight Natalie’s signature powerful voice throughout each song. The album features a great musical mix of soulful worship songs, gospel songs, and expressive ballads.

 

Spiritual Highlights

Natalie has consistently impressed me with her mature faith, and a sincere desire to proclaim truth over her life and express her prayerful offerings is found in every song. Each track is about proclaiming her dependence on God, which stirs my heart, mind, and soul to sing “In Christ Alone, I place my trust.”

 

“I Need You,” originally recorded by LeAnn Rimes, features tender and powerful vocals and takes listeners on an emotional journey re-working a love song to affirm our relationship with God, “I need You, like water, like breath, like rain, I need You like mercy, from heaven’s gate, there’s a freedom in Your arms, that carries me through, I need You.” The song is very stirring and convicting.

 

Standout song “You Will Be Found” features Cory Asbury and is a gorgeous offering of comfort. The tender message of the song stirs your heart to sing along. I have been listening to the song non-stop since it released, and it builds on the emotion from the original recording from Dear Evan Hansen.

 


Best Song on the Record

“You Will Be Found” is a beautiful song about being seen by someone, or--as I have soaked in the message of this song--in this version you can know with certainty that you will be found by God. There’s nowhere you can go that is out of His reach. This song, although originally intended to be an identity song as featured in the musical and movie Dear Evan Hansen, I am profoundly moved by this biblically connected and empowering song about finding our identity in Christ and what He says about us.

 

Suddenly, “You Will Be Found” isn't just a song about helping a friend find their way out of the fogginess of depression and anxiety; it's about a Savior who picks us up when we're broken and on the ground.



Original songwriters Pasek and Paul may have inadvertently creatively phrased biblical truth with the lyrics, “Well, let that lonely feeling wash away, maybe there's a reason to believe you'll be okay/'Cause when you don't feel strong enough to stand/You can reach, reach out your hand/And oh, someone will come running.” The psalm-like lyrics, “Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you/And when you're broken on the ground/You will be found/So let the sun come streaming in/'Cause you'll reach up and you'll rise again/Lift your head and look around/You will be found,” beautifully leads to the affirmation “So when the sun comes streaming in, 'Cause you'll reach up and you'll rise again/If you only look around/You will be found.” I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album.


 

For Fans Of

Plumb, Francesca BattistelliAmanda Cook, Kim Walker-Smith



Final Word 

Finding our identity in Christ is a theme that weaves its way throughout this offering. You’ll be hooked right from the opening notes of the album, setting the tone for the album. All of the songs are memorable and personal. These moving recordings are poignant songs of reflection. Every song is emotionally captivating. Natalie’s powerful and gorgeous vocals keep me hanging on every word she and her friends sing.

 

Seasons is the first covers project by Natalie Grant. These are very passionate songs sung with vocal sincerity, allowing Natalie and her friends to share their messages of love and positivity with more people than ever. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the prayerful lyrics found in the sacred songs.


 



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Songs for Healing | Posted September-17-2023
What You Need to Know

23-year-old pop artist Riley Clemmons’ self-titled debut album Riley Clemmons includes the hit singles “Broken Prayers” and “Better For It.” Riley followed that up with her hit singles “Fighting For Me,” “Over and Over,” “Healing,” and “Keep On Hoping” from her album Godsend.

 

With comparisons to contemporaries ranging from Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato to Natalie Grant and Britt Nicole, Riley’s seemingly effortless, rich, and pure vocal tone exhibits the passion and confidence of a seasoned artist. Riley’s songwriting is real, honest, vulnerable, positive, determined, and confident.

 

Riley's songs are very upbeat and catchy, and she is a great role model for girls. Her songs are loaded with positive, grace-filled messages of hope, addressing life's pressures. Riley understands that true happiness and identity only come from her relationship with God, including her catchy new single, “Loved by You.” It is the first single from Riley's anticipated third studio album, Church Pew.


 

What it Sounds Like

“Church Pew” is an engaging song with Riley’s passionate vocals setting the tone for this exceptional album. Over the years, Riley has produced many accessible pop and worship songs deep in meaning and content. This album is no exception. So many people can relate to this song's messages. Other standout songs include “Man Named Jesus,” “Loved by You,” “Fear Not,” “Jesus Cries,” and “Miracle.”



These songs beautifully describe our identity as His sons and daughters through poetic biblical language that showcases our dependence on Him. “Man Named Jesus” and “Fear Not” each feature a country/rock-tinged vibe and standout power anthems that excite me about my faith.

 

The production of these ultra-catchy pop songs could easily be featured on mainstream music radio. The album showcases Riley’s gifts as a songwriter and her shimmering, emotion-laden voice. Church Pew is loaded with positive, grace-filled messages of hope. Her songs address the pressures of life, and she understands that her identity only comes from her relationship with God.


 

Spiritual Highlights

Riley has consistently impressed me with her mature faith and sincere desire to serve Jesus. This shows in her music. "Loved by You" is inspired by the themes and biblical messages in 1 John 4:18-19. It echoes the idea of our identity in Christ, as presented in various Bible passages. Listening to this song repeatedly helps to reinforce the comforting message of the Bible that assures us of God's love for us and reminds us that we are only capable of loving because He loved us first. With every listen, this truth sinks deeper into our hearts and brings us a sense of peace.

 

The message of “Church Pew,” which sings, “We all come for different reasons/But Lord knows we all need Jesus/And He's always saving room for me and you/Right here in this church pew,” is based on several biblical truths, including Lamentations 3:22-23 and Romans 8:28.  



The comfort and rest Jesus offers are beautifully captured in “Miracle.” Riley beautifully depicts the message of identity that we all need to hear, “My words can't explain it/But my heart knows it's real/'Cause my broken pieces/Have started to heal/Like truth for a doubter/Like sight for the blind/Your love shows me power/From something divine.”


 

Best Song

“Loved by You” is an upbeat, empowering anthem to sing over ourselves and against fear, worry, and anxiety. Riley sets the tone with the opening lyrics, “Sometimes I feel/Like I’m alone/A bit too broken/Unseen, unknown/Sometimes the doubt/Starts creeping in/So come remind me/Once again.” Musically, the song builds to match the intensity of the lyrics. This song is an excellent companion to sing over your life. The moving musical bed of “Church Pew” takes me on an emotional journey that causes me to excitedly sing along with the stirring lyrics every time I hear the song. “Miracle” is another standout ballad.



My favorite song on the album is “Man Named Jesus." I’m deeply moved by the lyrics, “Something Holy must have happened when I met a Man named Jesus, ‘Cause I’ve never been the same.” After three tumultuous years of COVID-19, this song offers hope for healing through the power of prayer as God's children.




For Fans Of

Lauren Daigle, Plumb, Mandisa, Jasmine Murray



Final Word

I love Riley's intentionality and focus on God's provision in her life. She is a uniquely gifted singer/songwriter with a big, memorable, dynamic, yet intimate voice. These songs have biblically-based lyrics that poignantly capture life's simple yet vital messages. The emotional vocals and the prayerful lyrics in these sacred songs engage me. Riley’s vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus on Jesus.



Several personal songs melt my heart, especially “Church Pew,” “Man Named Jesus,” “Loved by You,” “Lifting Me Up” and “Miracle.” If you like female singers who make you think while you enjoy their catchy and empowering songs, Church Pew is for you. I have three young daughters, and this is a solid, upbeat pop album with positive biblical messages, a great alternative to mainstream pop artists. This is easily one of my top pop albums of the year, filled with songs for healing.


 



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Captivates My Spirit | Posted September-09-2023
What You Need to Know

South Carolina's Grammy-nominated band NEEDTOBREATHE hooked me 17 years ago with their major-label debut Daylight, which featured the single "Shine On." My takeaway review comments were, "Great album. Even better group." Since then, the band has managed to improve their craft with each album, garner an opening slot for pop icon Taylor Swift, play on late-night television, and collaborate with Gavin DeGraw on one of their biggest hits to date, "Brother," from my Top Album of 2014, Rivers in the Wasteland. That album earned a Grammy nomination for "Multiplied" and features the standout song "Difference Maker."



On their album HARD LOVE, my top album of 2016, the band subtly references the dance of life in a few contexts, taking us on the journey of life lessons learned in "HARD LOVE."

 


During the quarantine period, NEEDTOBREATHE utilized their time to compose and record their eighth studio album, titled Into the Mystery. The album boasts exceptional tracks such as "I Wanna Remember," featuring Carrie Underwood, and "I Am Yours." The band has released three full-length studio albums since 2020, with Out of Body being the first, containing hit songs such as "Who Am I" and "Survival." They recently released CAVES, featuring recent singles "The Cave" and "Everknown."

 

What it Sounds Like

Exceptional songwriting and musical brilliance accompany every new NEEDTOBREATHE release. The tracks on this album are woven with lyrical connections that'll captivate your spirit. This latest studio album, released surprisingly quickly after the previous one, is no exception and continues to impress me.



CAVES features some remarkable recordings, including the crowd-pleasing anthems "The Cave," "Everknown," and "Dreams" featuring Judah & the Lion. It also includes emotionally powerful tracks, such as "When You Forgive Somebody" and "Fall on Me," featuring Carly Pearce.



The album's reflective tone is perfectly captured in "Hideaway," "How Wonderful We Are," and "Temporary Tears" featuring musician Foy Vance. The band's Southern rock sound and infectious enthusiasm have captivated me, and they continue to improve with each new album. I can’t get enough of the emotional vocals and the sincere, enthusiastic, and thought-provoking lyrics throughout the album, echoing HARD LOVE in both content and musical vibe.


 

Spiritual Highlights

We're fearfully, wonderfully, and perfectly made, which is expressed in the standout “Everknown”: “You never give in/you know who you are/you are the everknown/you shine on, you shimmer/We’ll follow you on to wherever you go/you live life, you’re livin’.” We know many situations involving people taking their own lives after dealing with depression. If you're struggling with depression, please know with certainty the truth in the song’s life-giving words.



"Everknown" is a song that pays tribute to the people who have played a significant role in shaping our lives and personalities. These individuals, who often go unnoticed, deserve recognition for their positive impact on the world. This album's emotional vocals and inspiring lyrics have deeply moved me and left a lasting impression.



There are several standout songs I can’t wait to hear in concert, including "The Cave," "Dreams," "Wasting Time,” and “By and By." If you've always enjoyed NEEDTOBREATHE’s soulful anthems, you're in for a treat with this album. It has an outstanding balance of upbeat rockers and reflective ballads. These songs express my emo feelings and remind me of my detachment from this world. They are catchy and easy to sing along to.


 

Best Song

“Fall on Me” is a daily prayer, asking God to come and change our hearts and lives. Only Jesus can give us our identity. What a powerful expression of what it means to accept that God never leaves or forsakes us. The lyrics profoundly move me, “I am Yours now/You will always be, You will always be/The One that I can call the safest place to fall for me.” I'm engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, inspirational lyrics throughout the album.



“Hideaway” is a soaring work about God’s undying love for us. It's clear that the themes of relying on God's grace and mercy and seeking and speaking truth flow throughout this excellent album, highlighted by several of my new favorite songs, “The Cave,” "Dreams," "When You Forgive Someone," “Fall on Me,” "Hideaway" and “Reaching Out to Find You.”



You'll be hooked from the opening notes of "The Cave," which sets the tone for this album. Christians can all relate to the vulnerable and sincere crying: "There’s so much loneliness in everyone around you/I ran away to keep my head from getting cloudy/Oh I spent some time in a lonely place, but it’s only getting clearer/I need some time to be on my own in a world without a mirror.” That range of songwriting sets this album on the highest level for me, and is why they are my favorite band.


 

For Fans Of

SwitchfootDrew Holcomb & The NeighborsThird DayUnspoken



Final Word

NEEDTOBREATHE has quickly become one of my all-time favorite bands because they can move me with exceptional and spiritual lyrics that genuinely reflect how I feel as a Christian. The band consistently makes songs that remind us to reach where we're in humble submission to God. Please don't play it safe. Ask for God to be real in your life. You'll never see true beauty if you don't fully submit to God.



This is one of my top albums of the year from both the Christian and mainstream music markets. If you like their past work, you'll love this new album. CAVES is one of the catchiest, most energetic, and emotionally engaging albums I've heard this year, and it is sure to be one of your top albums of the year.


 



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Album of the Year | Posted September-09-2023
What You Need to Know

Lauren Daigle, a two-time GRAMMY singer and songwriter, has released an extended version of her recently released self-titled album. About the release, Lauren shares, "This is my most precious project. It's got fun, solemn, extrovert, and introvert moments. And I'm just thrilled about taking my songwriting further on this record than I've done previously."

 

The album's hit single "Thank God I Do" marks the launch of a new creative chapter for the multi-platinum-selling, Louisiana-bred artist, who announced the signing to Atlantic Records in partnership with longtime label home Centricity Music. The extended-release showcases Lauren’s gifts as a songwriter and her shimmering, emotion-laden voice. Lauren Daigle (Extended) is loaded with positive, grace-filled messages of hope. Her songs address the pressures of life, and she understands that her identity only comes from her relationship with God.


 

What it Sounds Like

“Thank God I Do” is an incredible song that touches me in many ways. Her passionate vocals set Lauren's exceptional album apart. The messages in her songs are relatable to many people. The standout tracks on the album are "New," "To Know Me," "Valuable," "Don't Believe Them," "These Are the Days," "Love Me Still," "Sometimes," and "Be Okay." Lauren's vocals are strong and pure, making them a highlight of the album.

 

Spiritual Highlights

Lauren's self-titled album contains stand-out anthems with convicting declarations. So many people can relate to the message of “Thank God I Do.” This song is a comforting message that there is always hope. “New” is based on several biblical truths, including Lamentations 3:22-23. A prayer of thankfulness for the comfort and rest offered by God is beautifully captured in “To Know Me.”  Lauren beautifully expresses gratefulness, “I could tell you all the details of who I am/but then again, to know me/you would have to know my friend.”

 

“Love Me Still” reminds us of our standing before God. The song is filled with grand statements of faith, celebrating our freedom in Christ. The song's message challenges us to think about our doubts and trust in Jesus to overcome fear and anxiety. We can join in singing the chorus, “You love me still/You always will/nothing can change it/nothing can change it.”




“Valuable" can be described as an empowering anthem that helps to overcome fear, worry, and anxiety. It provides an excellent support system to sing along with and uplift your mood. The emotional journey the song takes you on is enhanced by its moving musical arrangement, making it impossible not to join in and sing along with the stirring lyrics every time you hear it. You’ll understand how God feels about you from the beautiful refrain: “What would God say to you?/Oh, every tear He catches with His hand/He knows how your heart breaks within/you’re valuable.”



Best Song

“Thank God I Do” is my heart's cry and anthem to sing daily in praise to the Lord, regardless of my circumstances, doubts, or worries. Believers are called to find freedom in the cross of Jesus, where they are liberated from fear, addiction, insecurity, and the pursuit of perfection. Jesus died for us so that we can truly live in Him. I sing along at the top of my lungs to the sincere and passionate lyrics of submission: “You’re my safe place/My hide away/You’re my anchor/My saving grace/You’re my constant/My steadiness/You’re my shelter/My oxygen/I don’t know who I’d be/If I didn’t know you/Thank God I do.”



For Fans Of

Riley Clemmons, Plumb, Anne Wilson, Blanca



Final Word

I love Lauren’s intentionality and focus on God's provision in her life. She is a uniquely gifted singer/songwriter with a big, memorable, dynamic, yet intimate voice. These songs' poetic lyrics poignantly capture life's simple yet vital messages. The emotional vocals and the prayerful lyrics in these sacred songs engage me. Lauren’s vocals will soothe your soul. Do yourself a favor and listen to these beautiful expressions of faith, hope, and love.



Several personal pieces melt my heart, especially “Thank God I Do,” “Valuable,” “To Know Me,” “Don’t Believe Them,” “Love Me Still,” “Sometimes,” and “Be Okay.” Lauren Daigle (Extended) is for you if you like female singers who make you think while you enjoy their catchy and empowering songs. I have three young daughters, and this is a captivating album filled with positive messages. This is my album of the year.


 



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Album of the Year | Posted May-14-2023
What You Need to Know

Two-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer and songwriter Lauren Daigle recently released her new single, "Thank God I Do," and announced her self-titled album, Lauren Daigle, released May 12, 2023. "This is my most precious project," Daigle shares, "It's got fun, solemn, extrovert, and introvert moments. And I'm just thrilled about taking my songwriting further on this record than I've done previously."

 

"Thank God I Do" marks the launch of a new creative chapter for the multi-platinum-selling, Louisiana-bred artist, who announced the signing to Atlantic Records in partnership with longtime label home Centricity Music. The album showcases Lauren’s gifts as a songwriter and her shimmering, emotion-laden voice. This album is loaded with positive grace-filled messages of hope. Her songs address the pressures of life, and she understands that her identity only comes from her relationship with God.

 

What it Sounds Like

“Thank God I Do” is an incredible song. This song truly touches me in many ways. Many of us struggle with the idea that our past and present mistakes and thoughts of anxiety, worry, and depression define us, yet the Bible tells us that isn't true. Lauren’s passionate vocals set the tone for this exceptional album. So many people can relate to the song's messages. The standout songs also include “New,” “Waiting,” “To Know Me,” “Valuable,” and “Don’t Believe Them.” 


 

Spiritual Highlights

So many people can relate to the message of “Thank God I Do.” He's a God of infinite second chances. This song is a comforting message that there is always hope. Breathe it like oxygen, and God's hope will turn whatever you're going through into something different for His glory.

 

“New” is based on several biblical truths, including Lamentations 3:22-23. Whatever struggle or depression you face, know that God is always with you. Know that being His is enough. We have freedom thanks to His mercies which are new every morning. When you abide in His grace, you won’t be the same. His grace takes away anxiety, addiction, guilt, and shame. 

 

A prayer of thankfulness for the comfort and rest offered by God is beautifully captured in “To Know Me.” Lauren beautifully expresses gratefulness, “I could tell you all the details of who I am, but then again, to know me, you would have to know my friend.”


 

Best Song

“Thank God I Do” is my heart's cry and anthem to sing daily in praise to the Lord, regardless of my circumstances, doubts, or worries. We're free from our fears, addictions, insecurities, and perfectionism. Jesus died for us so we can all truly live in Him. We all have lies that we believe about ourselves. When you abide in His grace, you won't be the same. This song has become my anthem, and I sing along at the top of my lungs to the sincere and passionate lyrics of submission: “You’re my safe place/My hide away/You’re my anchor/My saving grace/You’re my constant/My steadiness/You’re my shelter/My oxygen/I don’t know who I’d be/If I didn’t know you/Thank God I do.”

 

“Valuable” is an excellent companion to sing over your life. From the beautiful refrain, you’ll understand how God feels about you: “What would God say to you? Oh, every tear He catches with His hand, And He knows the way your heart breaks within, You’re valuable.”




For Fans Of

Riley Clemmons, Plumb, Anne Wilson, Blanca



Final Word

I love Lauren’s intentionality and focus on God's provision in her life. She is a uniquely gifted singer/songwriter with a big, memorable, dynamic, yet intimate voice. These poetic lyrics poignantly capture life's simple yet vital messages. The emotional vocals and the prayerful lyrics in these sacred songs engage me. Lauren’s vocals will soothe your soul.



This is my favorite album by my favorite singer! I can’t get enough of these anointed songs by this anointed singer. Do yourself a favor and listen to these beautiful expressions of faith, hope, and love. Several personal pieces melt my heart, especially “Thank God I Do,” “New,” “Waiting,” “Valuable,” and “To Know Me.” Lauren Daigle is for you if you like female singers that make you think while you enjoy their catchy and empowering songs. I have three young daughters, and this is a captivating album filled with positive messages. This is my album of the year.


 



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Worship Album of the Year | Posted March-19-2023
What You Need to Know

The worship collective Bethel Music has become a household name in the Christian music industry thanks to its unique sound, great lyrics, and exceptional worship leaders, such as Paul and Hannah McClure and Brian and Jenn Johnson. Their songs are a great way to invite listeners into a place of worship. With unforgettable hits such as "One Thing Remains," "Forever," and "This is Amazing Grace," being sung at church worship services worldwide, these songs have put the Word of God into the minds, mouths, and hearts of Christians everywhere. They have introduced listeners to a new level of worship that celebrates the depth of God's love, making it an integral part of the spiritual journey for many.



In their single, "Holy Forever," captured live in the heart of the Redwoods of Northern California, Bethel Music extends an invitation to look up and take in the full magnificence of the celestial evergreens, inviting listeners to reflect on the beauty of God's glory. The worship collective will include the song on their forthcoming album, Come Up HereThe album embodies everything that Bethel Music stands for musically, lyrically, and visually.



What it Sounds Like

If you're a Bethel Music's worship anthems fan, you're in for a treat with their latest album. Featuring a perfect blend of male and female-led vocals, this album offers a rich collection of songs suitable for congregational worship and personal reflection. Many songs are singable and catchy, such as the gorgeous Jenn Johnson-led song "Holy Forever," filled with grand statements of faith, celebrating our King of kings and Lord of lords. The chorus is a heart's cry and a fantastic reminder: "Hear Your people sing holy/And to the King of kings, holy/And You will always be holy/Holy forever/You will always be holy/Holy forever." You’ll be raising your hands and heart in worship with the gorgeous “Surrounded by Holy,” which invites listeners to sing, “The more that I enter in, You consume all I am/I lose myself in the One Who’s holy/As we come face to face, You take my breath away/All I can do is cry holy, holy.”



Spiritual Highlights

Come Up Here is a biblically inspired standout album. The album's emotional vocals and deep, prayerful lyrics engage are engaging. "I can hear the sound/Of a million angels singing all around/Holy is Your name/I can hear the chorus/The never-ending chorus of praise/Worthy is the Lamb" are the biblical cries of worship in the heartfelt and soul-stirring song, "Isn’t He Beautiful." "Precious Blood" and "Surrounded by Holy" each feature tender and powerful vocals and take listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey with every lyric sung about faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus. 



The stark and majestically beautiful songs showcase the group's ability to provide emotional messages rooted in biblical truth. Each piece reminds us that our worship of God should not be based on our circumstances but on who God is. “Holy Forever” reminds us of our standing before God. We know what love is because God is love. He showed us His love when Jesus laid down His life for us. The song is filled with grand statements of faith, celebrating our freedom in Christ. The song's enthusiasm and energy are infectious, and its message challenges us to think about our doubts and trust in Jesus to overcome fear and death. We can join in singing the chorus, "If you've been forgiven and if you've been redeemed/Sing the song forever to the Lamb/And if you walk in freedom if you bear His Name/Sing the song forever to the Lamb."




Best Song

The album has several standout songs, including “The Great Beyond” and “Time and Time Again.” “Precious Blood” is an instant classic, and “Beauty” stirs the heart into an immediate state of worship. “Isn’t He Beautiful?” is biblical and congregational. “Surrounded by Holy” is gorgeous and ambient. A song that I can’t get out of my head is “Holy Forever,” so I’ll highlight that song as the must-download track. But you’ll want the whole album.



For Fans Of

Hillsong Worship, Hillsong UNITEDElevation WorshipJesus Culture



Final Word

You can take advantage of the opportunity to experience this incredible worship album. Not only is it one of the best releases of the year, but it's also my personal favorite among all of Bethel Music's albums. Come Up Here is about proclaiming our dependence on God and crying out in awe and wonder for His presence. Every moment entirely focuses me as a listener on joining in the praise, worship, and adoration of our beautiful King Jesus.



Come Up Here is loaded with several stirring new worship songs that set me in the proper mindset to praise God for loving me so much that He gave His life away from all that was lost. I enjoy this album's exciting and ambient musical vibe; the melodies are catchy, and the lyrics are prayerful. The album has stellar vocals, catchy melodies, and solid lyrics reflecting unashamed faith in Jesus. These are passionate worship songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence with biblically inspired lyrics. There are several instantly singable and worshipful arrangements that you'll want to add to your Sunday morning set list.

 

Look no further to experience fresh, biblically inspired, and Jesus-focused worship. The album is a beautiful reminder that there is immeasurably more to our God than we can think or imagine, and this album captures that sentiment. This album is a must-have addition to your worship collection, creating moments of deep connection with Jesus. Undoubtedly, each song puts the Word of God into the minds, mouths, and hearts of Christians everywhere. I eagerly await each new Bethel Music release, and Come Up Here is a stellar offering. Don't miss out on my worship album of the year.

 




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Healing Songs in Jesus' Name | Posted March-05-2023
What You Need to Know

Rising contemporary Christian artist Katy Nichole is an artist to watch. Her debut single “In Jesus Name (God of Possible),” derived from a simple chorus she released on TikTok, has topped both Billboard radio and iTunes music charts. The song was created from words in 21-year-old Katy’s prayer journal that were written during a global health crisis and in response to her own story of suffering, hope and healing.

 

Sharing her unwavering belief in God’s ability to heal and the power of prayer, Katy’s debut single connected with audiences around the world who are looking for healing and restoration in a weary and anxious world. The chorus was inspired by one of Katy’s multiple journal entries and has led to the release of her debut album, Jesus Changed My Life which also includes the hit song, “God is In This Story.” The album showcases Katy’s gifts as a songwriter, and her shimmering, emotion-laden voice. This album is loaded with positive grace-filled messages of hope. Her songs address the pressures of life, and she understands that her identity only comes from her relationship with God.


 

What it Sounds Like

“In Jesus Name (God of Possible)” is an incredible song for the Church. It’s a beautiful picture of hope in Christ. Give the Lord everything within you. By blessing God, you’ll be overwhelmed by His love and mercy in return. Katy’s passionate vocals set the tone for this exceptional album. So many people can relate to the messages of these songs. The standout songs also include “Jesus Changed My Life,” “God is in This Story,” “Things I Wish I Would’ve Said,” “Jesus, thank You,” and “Living Proof.” All these songs and their dependence on God have perfectly poetic biblical descriptions of how we worship our God of possible and express our dependence on Him as His sons and daughters. Katy’s vocals are so strong and pure.

 


Spiritual Highlights

You'll be blessed by these powerful songs which are all stand-out anthems with convicting declarations including: I pray for your healing/That circumstances will change/I pray that the fear inside will flee in Jesus’ name.” Let the song’s message of "In Jesus Name (God of Possible)" challenge you to think about your doubts and how Jesus calls you to rely on Him and the power of His resurrection. Remember, He has overcome death and fear. That's the reason to celebrate and give Christians everywhere the faith to believe and tell the world, “I pray for revival/For restoration of faith/I pray that the dead will come to life/In Jesus name.”

 

“God of Every Story” is based on several biblical truths, including Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11. Whatever struggle or depression you are facing, you can know that God is with you, always. We can't earn Heaven; it's only through complete surrender to Jesus and putting all our hope in Him can we be saved. Know that being His is enough. We have freedom thanks to the cross of Jesus. Tell others about how Jesus has changed your life. When you abide in His grace, you won’t be the same. His grace takes away anxiety, addiction, guilt, and shame. Know that being His is enough.

 

A prayer of thankfulness for the comfort and rest offered by Jesus is beautifully captured in “Jesus, Thank You.” Katy beautifully expresses gratefulness, “Thank You for Your goodness, thank You for Your kindness, thank You for all the things You do, Jesus thank You.”


 

Best Song on the Record

“In Jesus Name (God of Possible)” is my heart's cry and anthem to sing daily in praise to the Lord, regardless of my circumstances, doubts or worry, singing words to Him like: “I pray for your healing/That circumstances would change/I pray that the fear inside would flee/In Jesus name/I pray that a breakthrough would happen today/I pray miracles over your life in Jesus name.”

 

“Please” is best described as an upbeat empowering anthem to lift to Jesus and against fear, worry and anxiety. The song is an excellent companion to sing over your life. The moving musical bed of “Living Proof” takes me on an emotional journey that causes me to excitedly sing along with the stirring lyrics every time I hear the song. “Things I Wish I Would’ve Said” is another standout ballad.

 

Sung in the Person of Jesus, in “Hold On” I’m deeply moved by the lyrics, “Just wait ‘til you see what’s at the end of the road, a new life is about to unfold/Hold on just a little bit longer, I know it’s gonna be okay, these days are gonna make you stronger, there’s purpose in the pain.”

 

My personal favorite song on the album is “Jesus Changed My Life.” The song has become my personal anthem, and I sing along at the top of my lungs the sincere and emotive lyrics of submission: “You wouldn't let go, You wouldn't leave me/Followed me through darkness and chased me down with mercy/You wouldn't look back, You see beyond my past/There is nothing I have ever done to make You love me less.”




For Fans Of

Lauren Daigle, Riley Clemmons, Plumb, Anne Wilson, Blanca



Final Word

I absolutely love Katy’s intentionality and complete focus on God's provision in her life. She is a uniquely gifted singer/songwriter with a big voice that is memorable and dynamic, yet intimate. These songs all have biblically-based lyrics that poignantly capture life's simple yet vital messages. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the prayerful lyrics found in these sacred songs. Katy’s vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus on Jesus. There are several personal songs that melt my heart, especially “In Jesus Name (God of Possible),” “Jesus Changed My Life,” “Living Proof,” “Please,” and “Hold On.” If you like female singers that make you think while you enjoy their catchy and empowering songs, Jesus Changed My Life is for you. I have three young daughters, and this is a captivating album filled with positive biblical messages. This is easily one of my top albums of the year and the album is filled with healing songs in Jesus’ name.

 



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Let my heart cry holy | Posted October-20-2022
What You Need to Know

MercyMe has topped the charts for more than 20 years since they released their multi-platinum single "I Can Only Imagine," which is the most downloaded song in the history of Christian music. They have followed that up with hit after hit, including "God with Us," "All of Creation," "Beautiful," "The Hurt & the Healer," "Greater” and “Even If." Always Only Jesus has been one of my most anticipated albums of 2022. It has songs with inspirational story-style lyrics that will immediately cause you to worship and sing along with these ultra-talented musicians, lead singer Bart Millard, guitarists Mike Scheuchzer and Barry Graul, bassist Nathan Cochran, and drummer Robby Shaffer. The very relatable and transparent words of these songs perfectly depict our daily walks as believers wrapped around catchy songs.

 

All the tracks really display the musical and lyrical excellence and intentionality of MercyMe. These are catchy melodies and biblically-based lyrics reflecting unashamed faith. Every song on this stellar collection displays the band’s heart of what they do, leading people in worship of our Savior, reminding us that “better days are coming.” In the vein of “Almost Home,” these songs help remind us that we weren’t made for this world, as followers of Jesus who have put all their hope in Christ know that eternity in Heaven awaits us when we leave this fallen world and remember, there is “Always Only Jesus.”


 

What it Sounds Like

This band can really write a hooky and truth-filled chorus, and the single “Then Christ Came” is catchy, relevant and worshipful like their previous hit songs “Almost Home,” “Say I Won’t,” and “Even If.” The chorus is very stirring and convicting, “Then Christ came, changing everything, He took my sin and shame away.” 

 

“Always Only Jesus” features Bart Millard’s tender and powerful vocals and takes listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey with every lyric sung about faith in our God and to live out the commandment to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” If you’ve always liked MercyMe, this album will absolutely connect with you.


 

Spiritual Highlights

“Then Christ Came” reminds us, “Jesus You gave me purpose, Jesus, You told me I’m worth it.” Other highlights include “Better Days Coming,” “To Not Worship You,” “Grace Amazing,” “Lost in You” and “Always Only Jesus.” Poignant song “To Not Worship You” is a stirring testimony song reminding us of our salvation with a convicting declaration: “Raise my hands and surrender, You’re the One who makes mountains move…who am I to not worship You?" Like previous MercyMe albums, these songs are all filled with spiritual truth. The hope of the Gospel is heard loud and clear, “Let my heart cry holy and my hands be raised for one Name only” in the standout “Always Only Jesus.”





Best Song on the Record

I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album. “Better Days Coming” is an upbeat and catchy song in the vein of “Greater,” and “Move,” which are among my favorite MercyMe songs. There are several stand-out songs, and “Then Christ Came” is an uplifting offering of praise to the only One who has power to save. It is a very sing-able song. In many ways, the main message of this album is, “You are the One I was made for, Jesus You gave me purpose, Jesus You told me I’m worth it.” 

 

For Fans Of

NEEDTOBREATHE, Switchfoot, for KING & COUNTRY, Tenth Avenue North

 

Final Word

Always Only Jesus  is a great collection of confessional and authentic expressions of faith, yet another "best" album from MercyMe. Once again, the songs are poignant and powerful, and in recording the new tunes the band brings a more seasoned level of musicianship, intensity and intentionality. This album challenges me to think about how I’m living out my faith. Every song released by MercyMe completely focuses me as a listener on joining in praise, worship and adoration. These are very passionate songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence with biblically based lyrics.

 

These songs will certainly connect with listeners and showcase the multi-talented band’s trademark balance of vocal tenderness and lyrical intensity, beautiful and stirring musical arrangements and, above all, songs with a sense of hope and inspiration.



This has been one of my most anticipated albums of 2022, and I’m pleased to say it exceeds my expectations as I could not “imagine” they could outdo themselves. This incredible band has once again released their newest best album. It has a very warm musical style that will immediately soothe your soul and cause you to worship and sing along with these ultra-talented musicians.






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